The guards were afraid (Mt 28:4-28:4)

“The guards shook

In fear of him.

They became

Like dead men.”

 

ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ φόβου αὐτοῦ ἐσείσθησαν οἱ τηροῦντες καὶ ἐγενήθησαν ὡς νεκροί.

 

Matthew is the only one who mentioned that these guards were afraid.  In the 3 other gospel stories, there was nothing about the guards at the tomb, even though there was a mention of the other men in the tomb.  Thus, Matthew uniquely said that the guards or those keeping watch over the tomb (οἱ τηροῦντες) shook or trembled in fear (ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ φόβου αὐτοῦ ἐσείσθησαν) of this angel of the Lord.  These guards became like dead men (καὶ ἐγενήθησαν ὡς νεκροί).  They did not die, however.

The power of Yahweh (Hab 3:5-3:6)

“Pestilence went before him.

The plague followed close behind.

Yahweh stopped.

He shook the earth.

He looked.

He made the nations tremble.

The eternal mountains

Were shattered.

The everlasting hills

Sank low,

Along his ancient pathways.”

Habakkuk remarked that Yahweh was powerful.  Pestilence went before him, while the plague followed him.  Yahweh stopped and shook the earth.  As he looked, the various countries trembled.  The eternal mountains and the everlasting hills were shattered, as they sank low to provide a path for him.

Temple worship (Isa 66:1-66:2)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Heaven is my throne.

The earth is my footstool.

What is the house

That you would build for me?

What is my resting place?

My hand has made

All these things.

So all these things are mine.’

Says Yahweh.

‘But this is the one

To whom I will look.

I will look to the humble.

I will look to the contrite in spirit.

I will look to the one

Who trembles at my word.’”

This is an oracle about Temple worship. Yahweh said that heaven was his throne, while the earth was his footstool. What kind of resting house should they build for him? Yahweh has made everything, so that everything was his. What was he looking for? He wanted someone who was humble, contrite in spirit, and trembled at his word.

Oracle about Egypt (Isa 19:1-19:4)

“An oracle concerning Egypt.

See!

Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud.

He comes to Egypt.

The idols of Egypt

Will tremble at his presence.

The heart of the Egyptians

Will melt within them.

‘I will stir up

Egyptians against Egyptians.

They will fight

One against the other,

Neighbor against neighbor,

City against city,

Kingdom against kingdom.

The spirit of the Egyptians,

Within them,

Will be emptied out.

I will confound their plans.

They will consult

The idols,

The spirits of the dead,

The ghosts,

The mediums,

The wizards,

And the familiar spirits.

I will destroy the Egyptians

Into the hand of a hard master.

A fierce king will rule over them.’

So says the Sovereign,

Yahweh of hosts.”

Isaiah presents an oracle of Yahweh about Egypt. He said that Yahweh was riding high on a cloud as he came to Egypt as the false idols of Egypt trembled. The hearts of the Egyptians began to melt. Then Yahweh said that he was going to stir up fighting among the Egyptians themselves against each other, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. They would all lose their spirit. They would be confused. Then they would consult their idols, their dead spirits, their ghosts, their mediums, their wizards, and all kinds of their strange spirits. Yahweh said that he was going to destroy the Egyptians as he was going to hand them over to a fierce king. Clearly Yahweh has spoken.

The law as a shield (Ps 119:113-119:120)

Samek

“I hate the double-minded people.

But I love your law.

You are my hiding place.

You are my shield.

I hope in your word.

Go away from me!

You evildoers!

Thus I may keep the commandments of my God.

Uphold me according to your promise!

Thus I may live.

Let me not be put to shame in my hope!

Hold me up!

Thus I may be safe.

I have regard for your statutes continually!

You spurn all who go astray from your statutes.

Their cunning is in vain.

All the wicked of the earth,

You count as dross.

Therefore I love your decrees.

My flesh trembles for fear of you.

I am afraid of your judgments.”

The psalmist did not like those who were double minded since he loved single minded people and the law. He used the law as a shield as he hoped in the word of God. He wanted the evildoers to go away so that he could keep the commandments of God. He wanted God’s promise to sustain his life so that he would not be put to shame. He wanted to be held safe according to the statutes of God. He knew that God spurned those who went astray from the commandments. Their cunning ways were useless and not worth anything. This psalmist, on the other hand, loved the decrees of God. He trembled with fear because he was afraid of God’s judgments. So ends this section on the fifteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Samek.

Why did nature fear Yahweh? (Ps 114:5-114:8)

“Why is it?

O sea!

Why do you flee?

O Jordan!

Why do you turn back?

O mountains!

Why do you skip like rams?

O hills!

Why do skip like lambs?

O earth!

Tremble at the presence of Yahweh!

Tremble at the presence of the God of Jacob!

He turns the rock into a pool of water.

He turns the flint into a spring of water.”

This short psalm concludes with wondering why nature was so submissive to Yahweh. Why did the Red Sea flee and spread apart? Why did the Jordan River turn back? Why were the mountains and hills skipping like rams and lambs? The answer was, of course, they trembled at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Jacob. Yahweh was able to turn rock and flint into water.

Yahweh controls the heavens (Ps 18:9-18:15)

“He bowed the heavens.

He came down.

Thick darkness was under his feet.

He rode on a cherub.

He flew in the air.

He came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his covering around him.

His canopy was thick clouds

Dark with water.

Out of the brightness before him

There broke through his clouds

Hailstones and coals of fire.

Yahweh also thundered in the heavens.

The Most High uttered his voice.

He sent out his arrows.

He scattered them.

He flashed forth lightning.

He routed them.

Then the channels of the sea were seen.

The foundations of the world were laid bare.

At your rebuke!

Yahweh!

At the blast of the breath of your nostrils!”

This psalm talks about Yahweh and his control of the heavens just like in 2 Samuel, chapter 22. Yahweh came out of the clouds with darkness beneath him. He came down from heaven riding in the sky on an angelic cherub on the wings of the wind. He, of course, was the source of the thunder and the lightning. His voice was like thunder as he sent lightening to chase his enemies. The seas shook and the foundations of earth trembled from the blast of breath from his nose.  Yahweh had laid the foundations of the earth at the bottom of the sea. His nose had a big effect as a blast of his breath came upon the earth. Yahweh was directly interfering with the earth to help David through the use of thunder and lightning.